Living alone has its perks. You can eat what you want, wear what you want, and listen to show tunes as loud as you want. You can let your dishes pile up for days—or you can be a total neat freak. There’s no one to stop you. But there’s also no one to help foot the bill.
I asked you to send in your stories about living solo. Listener Ashley Ward decided it was time to get her own place after dealing with a less-than-ideal roommate. But living alone can also be a consequence of bigger life changes. Arlene Pickett’s husband died four years ago after a long decline. Arlene says it felt good to get back some of the control she lost while caring for him. But more recently, when she was diagnosed with cancer, living alone just felt hard. Glen Uhlig is separated from his wife and takes care of his two boys every other week. On Monday mornings after their week together he drops them off at school—exhales—and then has the time to pick up the newspaper again.
Today, more than a quarter of American households are home to just one person. But we don’t often talk about it, and it’s clear from your stories that living alone can be pretty complicated.
A full transcript of the episode is here.